Reading Already There?

There's more to the experience than just the book. Find it here.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Edited Out

I've spent a good part of the last week looking over the initial galley proof pages of my forthcoming book Already There: Letting God Find You, which now even has it's own Library of Congress catalogue number! It's exciting to start to see what the book will actually look like! But the process is a little bit like an emotional roller coaster! This is the first chance to see the edited version. And, of course, I realized that I have NO objectivity with regard to what has been changed or left out from my original manuscript. Has my voice been taken away? How could the editor change that! That doesn't even sound like me! Then, of course, you look back at the original manuscript, which you haven't read in a while (it was finished almost a year ago at this point), and you realize about some of these things--Oh, I did write that. Then you feel embarrassed, and a little guilty for those thoughts you had (briefly, of course) about your editor. But realizing my lack of objectivity, I sought the aid of my friend who knows my writing well, and who is also not afraid to be brutally honest, if necessary. We sat in a diner yesterday, and went through the pages together. She commiserated with me over some of the changes, pointed out a few things she didn't like, but also kept repeating, this is really good. That's what I really needed her for, and needed to hear. I just needed somebody to read it and tell me it would be OK--even more than OK.

I keep trying to remind myself that the book is not for me. It's for the young adults for whom I wrote it. So long as it speaks to them, and helps them, it doesn't really matter if one of my favorite parts is missing. That, of course, doesn't mean I didn't do my share of saying things like, "we really need to do this." But I was also able to let several things go. It also helped that a certain writer friend of mine told me of his best-selling book, "my editor took out some of my funny stories. And it probably made it better." So, I can breathe. Especially since, as of this morning, the corrections are in the mail!

Looking forward to seeing how it's all going to turn out. But the neuroses are not over yet. I'm still terrified that I'm going to hate the cover when I finally see it! But I'm asking God for patience, trust, and humility. All will be well. Repeat.